Recently, I undertook an immersion into Ignatian Spirituality at Cova Sant Ignasi, Manresa. A retreat house located in the shadow of the sacred mountains of Montserrat. The brochure promised me the opportunity to study the legacy of Ignatius of Loyola as an inspiration for authentic Christian living and as a means of spiritual formation.
In my time in Spain I came to learn much in regards to spirituality of Ignatius from learned teachers and by visiting some of the sacred places in the life of St Ignatius in Loyola and Barcelona. But, one of my most profound learnings was printed on the t-shirt of a fellow participant. The words being from a prayer attributed to Farther Pedro Arrupe SJ, Superior General of the Jesuits from 1965 to 1983.
The words on the t-shirt being “fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything”. I was most taken by these words and even had my own t-shirt printed in Australia. I wear it in the hope of giving people the opportunity to ask a question like; so why those words on a t-shirt? I find wearing the t-shirt almost always encourages a conversation in which I am able to talk about love in an Ignatian way. The way Jim Manney describes it in his book Ignatian Spirituality, A to Z, as a verb. A love which is not a passive word because it is love that is “an active offering, giving, serving and doing”. A love in which you serve in a loving relationship of mutuality with God having fallen in love with God and in that loving relationship you have asked God to decide everything.
A life formed in spiritual freedom to be an authentic Christian life, choosing to LOVE ONLY.
(Image by Steve Johnson from pexels.com, text Fr Pedro Arrupe sj)
Christopher Kennedy lives on the Gold Coast and is a member of the Faber Centre’s outreach to the Gold Coast and northern NSW. He is married with two adult children and has a background in property valuation and management. Chris has a Master of Arts (Spiritual Direction) and is a Companion in the Ministry of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises. His particular interest is the formation of people into a life of discernment in prayer, especially men in his work within the menALlVE ministry.